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How to Become an Illustrator in San Jose, California
More than thirty-seven percent of all jobs available to illustrators in the United States are located in California, with the vast majority situated in and around San Jose, an area commonly known as Silicon Valley. San Jose features many thriving high tech corporations and creative businesses offering valuable opportunities for talented local illustrators.
San Jose Schools and Training Programs for Illustrators
Universities, colleges and independent fine arts training facilities all over San Jose, California offer classes and workshops in illustration design. Successful accredited San Jose area design colleges include San Jose City College, Evergreen Valley College and Carrington College in San Jose, Mission College in Santa Clara, Cogswell Polytechnical College in Sunnyvale and De Anza College in Cupertino, among others. Popular local non-degree options for fine arts education are Marvegos Fine Arts School in Los Gatos and Monart School of Arts in San Jose.
Other aspiring San Jose illustrators enroll in online degree programs. Successful virtual visual arts schools with accredited status include National University, Full Sail University, Stratford Career Institute, University of Phoenix, The Art Institutes, DeVry and ITT Tech. Numerous online educational providers supplement their services with physical campus locations. University of Phoenix has a campus in Livermore. The Art Institutes has a campus in Sunnyvale. DeVry maintains a convenient San Jose facility.
Working as an Illustrator in San Jose, California
Businesses in San Jose, California that recruit talented local freelance illustrators include news syndicates, educators, web consultants, app developers and IT corporations. Some San Jose illustrators work for local engineering firms like ABR-Engineers, Argent-Engineering, EQ-Engineering, Fara-Engineering and Instrusoft, for instance. Other local artists create commercial illustrations for San Jose graphic design firms like Ferdinandsen, Fujita-Graphics, Graphic-Impressions, Janson-Graphics and Mac-Graphics-Design, among others.
Full time illustrators employed in the city of San Jose, California report an average annual salary of about $78,530, with a reported mean hourly wage of around $37.75. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, San Jose corporations employ roughly sixty full time illustrators. However, these figures do not reflect the employment conditions of local freelance professionals.
Skills of a Professional Illustrator
Professional illustration artists are superbly skilled at various drawing and coloring styles (text-illustration, technical diagrams, cartoon art, etc.), methods (rendering, shading, stippling, cross-hatching, etc.) and media (ink, graphite, charcoal, wax, pastel, oil, acrylic, etc.). Illustrators are also entirely proficient with one or more illustration design software programs. Popular varieties on the market include Adobe Illustrator, Xara, Compact Draw, Microsoft Expression Design and Real Draw Pro, to name just a handful. Other technical skills attributable to illustrators include website design, photography, animation and interactive media art.